What does Primer mean?

Definitions for Primer
ˈprɪm ər; esp. Brit. ˈpraɪ mərprimer

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word Primer.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. primernoun

    an introductory textbook

  2. fuse, fuze, fusee, fuzee, primer, primingnoun

    any igniter that is used to initiate the burning of a propellant

  3. flat coat, ground, primer, priming, primer coat, priming coat, undercoatnoun

    the first or preliminary coat of paint or size applied to a surface


  1. primernoun

    An elementary textbook introducing a topic, or teaching basic concepts.

  2. primernoun

    An elementary book for teaching children to learn the alphabet and to read, write and spell.

    Kennedy's New Latin Primer (an introductory grammar, published 2008)

  3. primernoun

    A single-stranded nucleic acid molecule required for the initiation of replication of a DNA molecule.

  4. primernoun

    Any substance used to start a fire.

  5. primernoun

    A small charge that burns furiously when given sufficient electrical current (Explosive primer) or when struck with force (percussion caps) that ignites the main combustable substances in explosives or ammunition.

  6. primernoun

    A layer of paint designed to underlay a topcoat, used to enhance the adhesion and durability of the topcoat and help in protection of the surface.

  7. primernoun

    A device used to circulate gasoline into the ignition chamber of an engine.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Primernoun

    Another prayer to her is not only in the manual, but in the primer or office of the blessed Virgin. Edward Stillingfleet.

    The Lord’s prayer, the creed and ten commandments he should learn by heart, not by reading them himself in his primer, but by somebody’s repeating them before he can read. John Locke, on Education.


  1. primer

    A primer is a substance used as a preparatory coat on a surface before painting to improve the adhesion of paint and increase its durability. It also provides additional protection for the material being painted. In molecular biology, it is a short strand of RNA or DNA that serves as a starting point for DNA synthesis. It is necessary for DNA replication because the enzymes that catalyze the replication process can only add new nucleotides to an existing strand of DNA. In other contexts, a primer can also refer to an introductory textbook or guide on a particular subject.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Primernoun

    one who, or that which, primes

  2. Primernoun

    an instrument or device for priming; esp., a cap, tube, or water containing percussion powder or other compound for igniting a charge of gunpowder

  3. Primeradjective

    first; original; primary

  4. Primernoun

    originally, a small prayer book for church service, containing the little office of the Virgin Mary; also, a work of elementary religious instruction

  5. Primernoun

    a small elementary book for teaching children to read; a reading or spelling book for a beginner

  6. Primernoun

    a kind of type, of which there are two species; one, called long primer, intermediate in size between bourgeois and small pica [see Long primer]; the other, called great primer, larger than pica

  7. Etymology: [Originally, the book read at prime, the first canonical hour. LL. primae liber. See Prime, n., 4.]


  1. Primer

    Primer is a 2004 American science fiction drama film about the accidental discovery of a means of time travel. The film was written, directed, and produced by Shane Carruth and was completed on a budget of $7,000. Carruth graduated from college with a degree in mathematics and is a former engineer. Primer is of note for its extremely low budget, experimental plot structure, philosophical implications, and complex technical dialogue, which Carruth chose not to simplify for the sake of the audience. One reviewer said that "anybody who claims he fully understands what's going on in Primer after seeing it just once is either a savant or a liar." The film collected the Grand Jury Prize at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival, before securing a limited release in the United States, and has since gained a cult following.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Primer

    prim′ėr, or prī′mer, n. a first book: a work of elementary religious instruction: a first reading-book: an elementary introduction to any subject: a kind of type of two species, long-primer (10 point) and great-primer (18 point). [Orig. a small prayer-book.]

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. primer

    A wafer, cap, tube, or other device for communicating fire to the charge of powder in a cannon. The cap or tube usually contains a friction- or percussion-powder. The friction-primer is generally used in the land service. (See Friction-primer.) For service on shipboard, a quill filled with rifle-powder, having on the top a capsule of fulminate of mercury, is generally employed. The capsule is exploded by a blow from the lock-hammer. The tape-primer, used sometimes in blasting, is formed of long, flexible strips of paper or fabric containing fulminate or other quick-burning substance. The electric primer is used to fire simultaneous discharges, both in ordnance and blasting. In firing wet gun-cotton, the small charge of dry gun-cotton used in conjunction with the detonating exploder is called a primer. In small-arms the term is specially applied, at the present time, to the percussion-caps used in reloading metallic cartridge-cases. The cap is set in a recess in the head of the shell. When the firing-pin strikes the outside end of the cap, the fulminate is exploded by being driven against a perforated cone called the anvil. This anvil is usually a part of the shell. In the Winchester primer, recently invented, the anvil is a part of the primer itself, being inserted upon the fulminate. A shoulder in the recess holds the anvil when the cap is struck.

Suggested Resources

  1. primer

    Song lyrics by primer -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by primer on the Lyrics.com website.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records


    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Primer is ranked #38532 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Primer surname appeared 574 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Primer.

    64.6% or 371 total occurrences were Black.
    26.4% or 152 total occurrences were White.
    4.1% or 24 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    2.6% or 15 total occurrences were Asian.
    2% or 12 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.

Matched Categories

How to pronounce Primer?

How to say Primer in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of Primer in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of Primer in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of Primer in a Sentence

  1. Joshua Zeichner:

    If you have oily or acne-prone skin, look for a primer that minimizes shine, blurs the pores and prevents breakouts, salicylic acid is a go-to ingredient because it keeps the pores clear and removes excess oil from the skin.

  2. Joshua Zeichner:

    The Jori Acne and Oil control primer is dermatologist-formulated specifically for people with adult breakouts and oily skin, it contains maximum strength 2 % salicylic acid along with a blend of botanicals that address the needs of adult skin. It can be worn on its own for a silky complexion or under makeup to help it go on smoother and stay on longer. Most importantly, it treats pimples and prevents future breakouts.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for Primer

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"Primer." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 18 Jun 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/Primer>.

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    a medicinal liquid that is rubbed into the skin to relieve muscular stiffness and pain
    A foumart
    B liniment
    C howdah
    D viverrine

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